Sean Kang

Assistant Professor of Education

My goal as a teacher is not merely to impart knowledge, but also to nurture in students a sense of excitement and curiosity about the intricacies of human behaviour and cognition. One way I try to do that is by helping students see how the information and skills they acquire from the course have direct implications for their lives now (e.g., greater insight into their own learning and development) and in the future (e.g., as educators, parents, lifelong learners). I strive to implement measures that promote more effective learning in the classroom, and yet recognise that a large proportion of learning occurs outside of the classroom. Hence, I believe it is equally important to equip students with the necessary tools and strategies for successful self-directed learning.

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There is a burgeoning effort among policy makers and funding agencies to ground educational policy and practice on rigorous scientific evidence. In this vein, the core of my research revolves around addressing theoretical issues in the cognitive psychology of learning and memory that also have direct practical implications, especially for pedagogy. I am fortunate to have research interests that dovetail nicely with my role as a teacher, for the findings from my research often have implications for educational practice (and conversely, experience in the classroom provides ideas for future research).

Professor Kang is also a faculty member in the Graduate Program in Psychological and Brain Sciences.

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210 Raven House
HB 6103
B.A. National University of Singapore, 2001
B.Soc.Sc. (Hon) National University of Singapore, 2002
A.M. Washington University in St. Louis, 2006
Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis, 2009

Selected Publications

Eglington, L. G., & Kang, S. H. K. (in press). Interleaved presentation benefits science category learning. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.

Eglington, L. G., & Kang, S. H. K. (in press). Retrieval practice benefits deductive inference. Educational Psychology Review.

Kang, S. H. K. (2016). Spaced repetition promotes efficient and effective learning: Policy implications for instruction. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 12-19.

Kang, S. H. K., Lindsey, R. V., Mozer, M. C., & Pashler, H. (2014). Retrieval practice over the long term: Should spacing be expanding or equal-interval? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 1544-1550

Kang, S. H. K., & Pashler, H. (2014). Is the benefit of retrieval practice modulated by motivation? Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 3, 183-188.

Kang, S. H. K., Gollan, T. H., & Pashler, H. (2013). Don’t just repeat after me: Retrieval practice is more effective than imitation for foreign language learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20, 1259–1265.

Kang, S. H. K., & Pashler, H. (2012). Learning painting styles: Spacing is advantageous when it promotes discriminative contrast. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26, 97–103.

Works in progress

The effects of retrieval practice on causal learning and reasoning

Spaced learning in medical education

Metacognitive monitoring and control during category learning

Using cognitive science principles and technology (smartphone app) to enhance financial education